The battle between Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid in the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series spring playoffs kicked off with an explosive start. Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki, who already secured a rare pentakill during this playoff run, notched another in the Baron Pit against Team Liquid to steal the first game of the series.
While the stars must align for any players to singlehandedly kill every opponent on the enemy team, there’s much more to Danny’s heroism than meets the eye. Here’s a look at how he pulled it off.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) April 23, 2022
Danny saves Evil Geniuses with a pentakill at Baron
At the 28-minute mark, Evil Geniuses lost a Drake contest that gave Team Liquid soul point. Armed with a composition that could poke EG out once they secure their position, Team Liquid rushed to the Baron pit to do just that. This forced Evil Geniuses to initiate into Missile Barrage, Jarvan IV’s dangerous combo of abilities and Xayah’s Featherstorm.
Despite a good Paranoia from jungler Kacper “Inspired” Słoma’s Nocturn on Steven “Hans sama” Liv’s Xayah, Evil Geniuses lost three players, leaving only Danny’s Jinx and Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme’s Tahm Kench.
Most of Team Liquid’s players were low on HP after staving off the assault, but they decided to finish the Baron anyway since Evil Geniuses couldn’t realistically contest a 2v5. At worst, Team Liquid would secure the baron and lose a champion or two. At best, they kill Danny and continue to dominate the game.
As it turned out, there was a third option Team Liquid could never have predicted.
Team Liquid brought the Baron down lower and lower, from 2000, to 1000, to 980 —as close to smite range as possible so that Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer could secure it reliably.
However, in the most unexpected turn of events, a minor Baron mechanic cost Team Liquid everything. Every minute, Baron gains 180 health as a form of scaling. And during TL’s attempt, that scaling kicked in at the exact instant Santorin tried to smite it.
Danny’s auto attack landed the exact next frame and secured the Baron for Evil Geniuses, triggering Jinx’s “Get Excited!” passive. With boosted attack and movement speed, a flurry of auto attacks picked off every single Team Liquid player, refreshing Jinx’s passive with each kill and resulting in the most unlikely pentakill for the young bot laner.
From there, Evil Geniuses regrouped and secured a game 1 victory from the jaws of defeat by shoving the bot lane down Team Liquid’s Nexus. They even won a close game two, putting them one game away from eliminating the first seed of the LCS.